Adolescence researcher, Extension partner Elizabeth Weybright leads WSU’s Youth and Families unit

Portrait-style photo of Weybright.
Elizabeth Weybright, faculty member and Extension specialist, is the new Interim Director of WSU Extension’s Youth and Families Program Unit.

Elizabeth Weybright, a researcher and Extension specialist who explores ways to help young people live healthy lives, is the new leader of Washington State University Extension’s Youth and Families Program Unit.

Weybright began July 16, 2020, as interim director of the program unit. Engaging in research and service that helps people of all ages and backgrounds thrive, Youth and Families encompasses nutrition, health, and wellness education, consumer food safety and food preservation, parenting and youth development, and financial literacy programs.

“I look forward to contributing to the Youth and Families vision, supporting and improving health, knowledge, and wellbeing for youth and adults across Washington state,” Weybright said. “I’ve been part of this unit as a specialist since I arrived at WSU, and I’m excited to work more closely with our Extension faculty, staff, and Washington families in charting its future.”

“Elizabeth brings valuable experience as both a faculty member and an Extension collaborator,” said Vicki McCracken, associate dean and director of WSU Extension. “She has done an excellent job at providing leadership on projects that span research and Extension, multiple colleges, and Youth and Families faculty and staff across the state.”

Weybright takes over from former director Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom, who led the unit since 2011 and is now the state leader for Extension’s Nutrition, Health and Wellness programs.

“I congratulate and thank Doreen for nearly a decade of leadership and dedication to Youth and Families, and for representing WSU Extension at the regional and national level on youth and family issues,” McCracken said.

“In her new role, Doreen is ideally placed to connect researchers, and campus-based programs and resources, to our local, regional, and statewide organization,” McCracken added. “She is energized to focus on strengthening and building relationships across the WSU Spokane Health Sciences and our tremendous Extension system.”

Partner for healthy youth, communities

A faculty member at WSU’s Department of Human Development since 2014, Weybright leads the university’s Adolescent Health Promotion Lab. For young people, adolescence is a critical period of physical, mental, and social development. Weybright partners with Extension faculty and staff as well as students and families to study ways to promote healthy choices and prevent risky youth behavior.

As a partner with Extension’s Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!) program, she has helped reach more than 10,000 children across the state, most of them newcomers to 4-H, through nutrition and development programs.

Recipient of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences’ 2020 Early Career Excellence Award, she is an expert in youth boredom, and has a national reputation for connecting the studies of prevention science with leisure.

Supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, she is currently partnering with researchers in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and the WSU College of Nursing to develop the new helping professionals in rural Washington communities stop the opioid epidemic.

Learn more about WSU Extension’s Youth and Families Program Unit at its website.